Puerto Rico's Slow Recovery, Irma Food Benefits & Public Schools vs The State On The Florida Roundup

Oct 23, 2017

One month since Maria hit Puerto Rico, the wait for Irma's food benefits in South Florida and Florida public schools vs. the state over charter schools all on this week's 'special pledge edition' of The Florida Roundup with host Tom Hudson. 


  • Tim Padgett, WLRN's Latin Americas correspondent
  • Christine Stapleton, reporter for The Palm Beach Post
  • Wilson Sayre, WLRN reporter
  • Jessica Bakeman, WLRN's education reporter      

It's been more than a month since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and nearly one million people are still without regular clean water and millions remain without power. Even though millions of Americans on the island continue to struggle for life's basics, President Donald Trump has given his administration’s response high marks. 

Read: Trump Gives Himself A '10' On Puerto Rico. The Island Doesn't Think So.

South Floridians continue to line up for food assistance. Thousands have endured long waits in the heat just to receive the benefits. Some sites reached capacity even before opening. Others were closed because law enforcement became concerned about traffic jams and overheating. What does the high demand say about economic resiliency in the region? 

Read: A Month After Hurricane Irma, Disaster Food Stamp Registration Gets Underway With Long Lines

Broward County Public Schools followed through with its threat and filed a lawsuit along with a dozen other Florida school districts challenging a controversial new state law known as HB 7069. The districts are arguing that the massive education law violates the state's constitution. One of the biggest issues cited in the lawsuit is a provision that would require school districts to share local property tax revenue with charter schools.

Broward is the only South Florida public school district to join the lawsuit while Palm Beach has filed its own separate lawsuit and Miami-Dade says it will first explore all other options before taking legal action.

Read: Broward County, 12 Other Districts File Legal Challenge to New Charter School Law